SNMG-2 Is Heading To Djibouti

Families and onlookers wave farewell to SNMG2 flagship TCG Giresun as she sails to meet up with ITS Grecale and pass through Suez. Photo: SNMG2

According to NATO, SNMG-2 has passed through the Suez Canal some time between December 2nd and today and the task force consisting of Turkish flagship F-491 TCG Giresun and Italian frigate F-571 ITS Grecale is sailing to Djibouti to join Task Force 508.

 TCG GIRESUN, the new flagship of Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 recently rendezvoused in the eastern Mediterranean with Italian frigate ITS GRECALE. 
The Group has now passed through passed the Suez Canal and is sailing to Djibouti to join Task Force 508.

SNMG 2 is a multinational integrated maritime force that forms part of the NATO Response Force and operates under the command of the Allied Maritime Command in Naples. Permanently activated and held at high readiness, it is a mobile and flexible force that allows the Alliance to respond to today’s security challenges.  SNMG2 is currently under the command of Rear Admiral (LH) Sinan Azmi TOSUN, Turkish Navy.

According to Turkish Navy, after the rendezvous in Djibouti the composition of Task Force 508 will be as follows:

Number
Name
Nation
Type
F-491 TCG Giresun (Flagship) Turkey Frigate
F-571 ITS Grecale Italy Frigate
L-16 HDMS Absalon Denmark Frigate
DDG-64 USS Carney USA Destroyer
FFG-45 USS De Wert USA Frigate
A-387 HMS Fort Victoria UK Replenishment Tanker

NATO Announces Flagship Handover In SNMG2 (UPDATED)

According to a short news release published at NATO’s Allied Maritime Command Naples web site, F-491 TCG Giresun replaces F-245 TCG Oruçreis as the flagship of SNMG-2.

Commander Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 has moved to a new flagship. Since 17 June 2011, TCG ORUCREIS has hosted Rear Admiral (LH) Sinan Azmi TOSUN, Turkish Navy, and his staff. After serving as the flagship for five months, TCG ORUCREIS handed over her flagship duties to TCG GIRESUN, another Turkish frigate. TCG ORUCREIS served as Flagship during Mediterranean, Black Sea, Baltic and North Sea deployment periods.

I must say that I am very much disappointed with MC Naples’ public relations efforts. The link to a longer news release that the front page is not working. There are two different web pages showing the SNMG-2 task force, here and here and both are incorrect and out of date. I wonder that those guys are doing recently? Attending bunga bunga parties with Mr. Berlusconi?

UPDATE:

The link to the news release appears to be corrected. So I have added it. But the information about the current composition of SNMG-2 is still incorrect and out of date.

F-495 TCG Gediz Visits Muscat

The Turkish frigates F-495 TCG Gediz is Muscat, Oman for an official visit.  This visit is probably a short rest before the long days of patrolling against piracy and sea robbery will commence.

The frigate is in the region since September 2011 and is in the CTF-151 multinational task force. She escorted the Turkish flagged merchant ship M/V Burak A carrying  8 full equipped ambulances, 1 forklift, 5 jeeps, 6 generators, 500 tents, 5000 blankets and 4.500 tons of food and medical supplies to Mogadishu. This is the second Gulf of Aden deployment of F-495 TCG Gediz.

MUSCAT — Sayyid Said bin Ibrahim al Busaidy, Deputy Governor of Muscat, received here yesterday the Commander of the Turkish Naval Frigate TCG Gediz.
Al Busaidy briefed the guest on the Governorate of Muscat and its role in serving the society. He highlighted the landmarks in the wilayats of the governorate that stand as witnesses of its ancient history and bright present.
The guest admired the landmarks in this prosperous era. He valued the pioneering role being pursued by the government under the leadership of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos in pushing forward the wheel of development in the country and cementing co-operation relations with other countries.
Issues of common concern were also discussed during the meeting. — ONA

H/T: Dave Shirlaw.

SNMG-2 Gets A New Flagship

F-245 TCG Oruçreis, in Istanbul, in June 2011.

Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG2) gets a new flagship in December.

According to Turkish Navy, the current Flagship F-245 TCG Oruçreis will be relieved by the frigate F-491 TCG Giresun. Since June 2011 Turkish Navy is in command of SNMG-2 and MEKO 200 Track II class, TCG Oruçreis is the flagship.

The reason behind this change is the SNMG-2’s up comming Operation Ocean Shield rotation. NATO maintained one of its two Standing NATO Maritime Group in the Gulf Of Aden after the North Atlantic Council (NAC) approved the counter-piracy mission in 2009. Currently NATO’s other maritime group SNMG-1 is in the region. SNMG-2 will replace them for next 6 months.

Although Turkey operates 8 Perry (locally known as Gabya) and 8 MEKO 200 frigates, Turkish Navy always deploys a Perry class frigate for the anti piracy missions in the Gulf Of Aden. There has never been an official announcement why this particular type of frigate is favored by my educated guess is that the Gabya class frigates have a longer range and are more fuel efficient compared to the MEKO 200 class frigates.

This will be the second Somalia mission for TCG Giresun in 2011 and the third one overall. The frigate was off Somalia between 26 January and 15 June 2011.

A Submarine Spotted

Type 209

On 28 November 2011, one Turkish Type 209 / 1400 class submarine sailed through Bosphorus to Black Sea. Since Turkish Navy stooped painting the pennant number of the submarines on their hulls, it is impossible to identify each individual submarine anymore. While this new painting scheme helps the submarines to blend and prevents IR/FLIR/LLTV using trackers or electro-optic directors any high contrast target, it makes ship spotting difficult.

With 6 Type 209/1200 and 8 Type 209/1400 class submarines in service, Turkey has the largest conventional submarine fleet in the NATO.

Turkish Navy Tested An ESSM Missile

I don’t know where, or when but apparently Turkish Navy fired an ESSM missile from a MK-41 VLS launcher on a Gabya (Perry) class frigate.

The photos above are taken from the footage of The Turkish Radio and Television Corporation. The national public broadcaster of Turkey made a TV program about the Turkish digital combat management system named GENESIS (Gemi Entegre Savaş İdare Sistemi). Click here to watch the show.

Although the name of the frigate that fires the ESSM was never mentioned during the show, I assume it must be F-495 TCG Gediz, the first Gabya (Perry) class frigate to receive the Mk-41 VLS.

Photos from 238th Anniversary Celebrations Of Turkish Naval Academy

Turkish Naval Academy was founded in 18 November 1773. To celebrate the 238th anniversary of this occasion a small armada of Turkish warships visited Heybeliada were today the Turkish Naval High School still educates the futures cadres of Turkish Navy. Among the visitors were the first of Milgem class, TCG Heybeliada, the first of New Type Patrol Boat class, TCG Tuzla, the second ship of Aydın Class mine hunters, TCG Amasra, one unidentified Type 209 submarine and various Coast Guard vessels. Enjoy the photos

F-511 TCG Heybeliada

F-511 TCG Heybeliada

P-1200 TCG Tuzla

M-266 TCG Amasra

Type 209 / 1400 class submarine

SG-12

SG-94

SG-312

The Hijacking Of M/V Kartepe

The explosives and detonators found of the body of the terrorist.

Almost one week has passed since the hijacking of the M/V Kartepe. With each passing day the dust and gun smoke around the whole affair settles leaving us with a better view of the things that happened during that night.

As always the first information about the incident was incorrect or false. There was only one member of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), 27-year-old Mensur Güzel on board during the hijacking and not 4 as reported.

He entered the vessel along with other passengers in Izmit at 17:45 in 11th November 2011. There were 18 passengers, 4 crew and 2 trainees on board. The terrorist entered the bridge by the thread of detonating a bomb strapped to him and took the command of the ship.

The second captain of M/V Kartepe was able to inform the security forces before the hijacker have the cell phones collected.

During the night M/V Kartepe sailed across the Marmara Sea mostly in circles with coast guard and police interception boats in her vicinity. It is not clear who ordered the router for the vessel was it the hijacker who gave the directions or was it the captain.

In the middle of the night the fuel of the off the shore of Silivri a suburb of the west of Istanbul.

M/V Kartepe minutes after the rescue operation.

In the mean time the security forces were able to verify that there was only one terrorist on board. This information was confirmed by some of the passengers as the called when the terrorist returned them their cell phones.

Shortly before the dawn the security forces contacted one of the crew member on board to open the entrance doors at the back of the boat so that a naval special forces team of 15, can enter inside while the terrorist was still in the bridge.

After all the passengers were gathered in a safe place in M/V Kartepe, the naval commandoes shot the hijacker at 05:45. According to news reports he was shot 6 times; 3 shots in head 3 shots in chest.

Later 3 pieces of explosives type A-4 each weighting 450 grams, various detonators and chemical substances to enhance the force of the blast were recovered from his body.

The passengers who were interviewed by the press after the incident told that the whole operation of the special forces was very smooth almost as if all was an exercise.

I believe that the whole hijacking incident was a very good reminder for all of us why a country needs naval special forces and that they are a versatile tool not just for a war but for any kind of maritime security issue

M/V Kartepe hijacked in Marmara Sea

M/V Kartepe, a high speed passenger vessel belonging to the municipality of Izmit was hijacked by 4 or 5 terrorist this evening as the vessel was on her routine voyage from Izmit to Karamursel.

According to news reports there are 19 passengers, 6 crew. The terrorist overwhelmed the crew and entered into the bridge by saying that bombs are strapped to their bodies.

Currently, I as write this, the vessel is moving in Marmara Sea without a particular heading. The remaining fuel can last 120 nautical miles. The terrorists did not contact any authorities for any demands yet.

An unidentified number of Turkish Coast Guard vessels some salvage and rescue ships and most probably teams of Turkish naval special forces are shadowing the hijacked vessel.

SNMCMG-2 Is In Patras For An Exercise With Greek Navy

A-579 TCG Cezayirli Gazi Hasan Paşa, the flagship of SNMCMG-2

Tomorrow NATO’s SNMCMG-2 will start a 3 day visit in Patras, Greece.

SNMCMG-2 is currently led by Captain Abdulhamit Şener of Turkish Navy. Last month the task force made a visit to Spit, Croatia. Following their departure from Split, the ships of SNMCMG-2, led by the flagship A-579 TCG Cezayirli Gazi Hasanpaşa, conducted underway exercises with the Croatian Navy on 11 and 12 October.

According to the press release of the Greek Navy SNMCMG-2 will take part in the Exercise Ariadne. The exercise will involve extra power of the Navy, consisting of the frigate F-459 Andrias, the mine hunters M-64 Kalypso, M-63 Kallisto and gunboats P-268 Aititos, P-19 Navmachos. During their stay in Patras, the foreign crews of the ships will visit archaeological sites and places of tourist interest.

The current composition of SNMCMG-2 is as following:

Number
Name
Nation
Participants
A-579 TCG Cezayirli Gazi Hasan Paşa Turkey Flagship
M-270 TCG Akçay Turkey Minehunter
M-35 SPS Duero Spain Minehunter
5557 ITS Numano Italy Minehunter
M-1063 Bad Beversen Germany Minehunter
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